Lot 168
  • 168

Attributed to Sir Anthony van Dyck

50,000 - 70,000 GBP
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  • Anthony van Dyck
  • Portrait of Ferdinand de Boischott (1571-1649), Baron Zaventem
  • bears date on the base of the column: 1630
    inventory number 30 etched into the reverse


  • oil on canvas
  • 43 in by 36 in
Half length, wearing a black doublet with red cross, white cuffs and ruff


By inheritance to the sitter's wife, Anna Maria de Çamudio (d. 1663);
Sold on her death in 1663, together with the pendant by Van Dyck depicting her, to Nicolaas Stroobant;
Bought back by the sitter's son, François de Boisschot;
By descent to the Remoortere-Taxis family, and disposed of in 1814;

George Greville, 2nd Earl of Warwick, (1746–1816), by 1815;
Thence by descent.


Leeds, National Exhibition of Works of Art, 1868, no.760 (as a Portrait of Don Fernando de Toledo);
London, Grosvenor Gallery, Exhibition of the Works of Sir Anthony van Dyck, 1887, no.92 (as a Portrait of the Duke of Alva);
Birmingham, Commemorative Exhibition of the Art Treasures of the Midlands, 1934, no. 30;
New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, on long term loan.


W. Field, An Historical and Descriptive Account of Leamington Spa, Warwick 1815, p. 186, ('Portrait of a Spanish General by Vandyck'), in the Gilt Room;
J. Smith, A catalogue raisonné..., London 1831, vol. III, no. 618;
C. W. Spicer, Vitruvius Britannicus. History of Warwick Castle, London 1844, in the Cedar Room;
H. T. Cooke, An Historical and Descriptive Guide to Warwick Castle…, Warwick 1847, p. 50, in the Cedar Drawing Room;
W. Kendall, Inventory of Warwick Castle, ms., 1853, in the Gilt Drawing Room;
G. Waagen, Treasures of Art in Great Britain, vol. III, London 1854, vol. III, p. 213–14;
Anon., Inventory of Warwick Castle, ms., circa 1860, in the Gilt Drawing Room;
Anon., Inventory of the contents of Warwick Castle, ms., 1900, in the Gilt Drawing Room;
L. Cust, Anthony van Dyck, London 1900, p. 261, cat. no. 130;
Anon., A brief account of the Earls of Warwick, together with a description of the castle and some of the more notable works of art therein, Warwick 1959, p. 37, in the Cedar Drawing Room;
S. J. Barnes et al, Van Dyck, A Complete Catalogue of the Paintings, Yale 2004, p. 406, cat. no. III.A15 (as a repetition of a lost original).

By Adriaen Lommelin: Hollstein, V, 380.


The picture is in reasonably good condition. The canvas has a firm relining and the paint surface as a result is pressed and a little abraded in parts. The thick old varnish prevents inspection under ultraviolet light, but no major repairs or damagaes are in evidence. A degree of old restoration underneath should be presumed.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.

Catalogue Note

Though considered a repetition by the Rev. Susan Barnes when inspecting the painting in New York in 1998 in preparation for the 2004 catalogue on the artist (see Literature), an opinion she stands by following re-inspection of the painting in April 2014, Dr. Christopher Brown is of the opinion that the quality of the face and certain other passages argue for an attribution to Van Dyck himself. Certainly, this is the best of all known versions of this portrait and Ludwig Burchard was convinced of its authenticity. The painting was restored and relined after the fire at Warwick Castle in 1871.

This portrait may very well therefore be the 'lost' pendant to the portrait of Anna Maria de Camudio (d. 1663), the sitter's wife (fig. 1). They are of the same dimensions (she measures 112 x 92.5 cm), and if this is the case then the provenance for her, up to 1814 (they were first sold as a pair on Anna Maria's death in Brussels in 1663, but subsequently bought back by the sitters' son, François de Boisschot), would apply to the present portrait too (see Barnes et al, 2004, no. III.75), the 2nd Earl of Warwick acquiring it at the disposal of the Remoortere-Taxis family collection in 1814.

The sitter is identified from the engraving by Adriaen Lommelin (New Hollstein, V, 380). Ferdinand de Boisschot, Count of Erps, from 1621 Baron of Zaventem, and knight of the Order of Santiago (hence the red cross on his tunic) was Albert and Isabella's envoy in London and Paris between 1611 and 1623, a privy councillor and chancellor of the council of Brabant from 1626. De Boisschot met the Basque Anna Maria de Camudio in Brussels when she was serving there as the Archduchess Isabella's lady-in-waiting. De Boisschot was a regular patron of Van Dyck and through his associations with Albert and Isabella both in England and the Netherlands he must have known the artist well. He commissioned the St. Martin for the church at Zaventem (Ibid., I. 38) and, after the artist's return from Italy, he is believed to have commissioned another altarpiece for Zaventem, possibly depicting the three Maries (lost).